James Kirby, Head of EMEA Business at CSG, explains how CSG helps companies future-proof their digital offerings with the power of a diverse portfolio...
CSG, an industry leader in providing revenue management and customer engagement solutions, has helped businesses acquire, monetise, engage, and retain customers for over 35 years. James Kirby, CSG’s Head of EMEA, believes that at its core, the company's mission is to help solve their customers’ toughest business problems. Further, he considers CSG’s commitment to its mission to be integral to its success. “Solving our customers’ problems allows us to grow and provide returns to our stakeholders,” James explains. “This provides us with the growth needed to continuously innovate, feeding back further benefits to our customers as we continuously develop and evolve our solutions."
While CSG maintains a diverse client roster, from leading communications service providers to governments to media and entertainment providers, James believes that two common needs transcend industries: effective revenue management and the ability to provide a superior customer experience. CSG has solutions tailored for success in these crucial areas.
A significant number of CSG’s customers operate in the telecommunications and logistics industries, two sectors that have experienced considerable demand increases throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As end customers used more data and communicated more online, CSG was well-positioned to seamlessly scale solutions to meet demand. The pandemic made it abundantly clear that businesses need to transform into digital organisations, with the ability to do so quickly.
James believes that CSG can speak with authority to the process because the company has undergone a transformation themselves. “We find ourselves in a very fortunate position because we have been developing innovative solutions for a long time. Over the last few years, we have moved to the cloud, implemented digital front ends, and streamlined applications. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers react quickly to a constantly changing landscape. As the pandemic has unfolded, we have been able to offer capabilities that our customers can quickly adopt and integrate.”
Take, for example, a large global shipping company that has experienced a staggering increase in shipments processed, creating massive amounts of data. According to James, “data is key to almost any business, and the current increase in data generation means it is more important than ever to merge that data from multiple sources and place it in repositories for analytics and business intelligence.”
CSG’s Digital Mediation platform was developed to help businesses manage their data streams more efficiently. “It allows us to take any type of data from any source, process that data, analyse it and then distribute it to other systems,” James explains.
Today’s world is driven by ecosystems. Long gone are the days when a telecom firm provided only a telephone service. Today, they typically offer bundles and complementary products, and that ecosystem is set to grow exponentially as businesses move online.
CSG operates on the premise that technology is ever evolving, and that it is vital to always stay one step ahead. As a result of this approach, they can meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. CSG has a unique take on digital transformation, which James describes below.
“Many organisations have gone through transformation, especially large-scale IT projects, that can take years. They think there is a finish line to reach or a definite endpoint to digital transformations. But that era has come to an end. The pace at which technology changes and evolves requires a perpetual transformation. We have adapted to this new reality through continuous development and integration and by implementing agile methodologies in the way we develop and deploy our solutions.”
Companies across a variety of industries have been able to digitally transform their business operations by deploying CSG’s innovative suite of services. Inmarsat, a United Kingdom-based satellite provider for the aviation and maritime sectors, has benefited from enhanced efficiency in data processing and invoicing after implementing CSG’s solutions.
In Africa, a key growth market for the company, CSG is providing MTC Namibia with a future-proof digital technology stack to help personalise their customers’ experience across devices and channels. “During the last 12 months, MTC has undergone a massive digital transformation that included transforming a collection of legacy systems and integrating them into the CSG ecosystem. This accelerated MTC’s go-to-market plans and allows them to better serve their customers,” James explains.
In addition to Africa, the Middle East is a major growth market. CSG recently expanded its work with Mobily, one of the fastest-growing mobile operators in Saudi Arabia. “The Saudi Arabian market is rapidly changing from a very oil-centric market to a truly digital economy,” James says. “It is very important for businesses in the region to provide a much more digital experience for their customers, who are becoming more demanding. By partnering with Mobily and deploying CSG products, they can accelerate their growth and significantly improve their customer experience.”
James views the present as a very exciting time for the organisation, in large part because of its ecosystem of partners. CSG has a significant competitive advantage, as they can pull from experience and expertise from a variety of different markets and industries to benefit their customers.
“Today’s world is driven by ecosystems. Long gone are the days when a telecom firm provided only a telephone service. Today, they typically offer bundles and complementary products, and that ecosystem is set to grow exponentially as businesses move online—this is where we can really leverage our expertise,” James says.
CSG believes that customer relationships and partnerships are based on more than just a single transaction—they are enduring and continuously evolving. The company applies this knowledge when building its products and solutions, keeping the customer in mind throughout the process. The methodologies and processes they have adopted allow them to work more effectively with customers and partners.
A robust partnership framework and an unwavering commitment to success have led to strong relationships and even some awards. Last year, CSG was named Microsoft’s 2020 Media and Communications Partner of the Year for their work with Azure. “Forging partnerships with large international brands is vitally important. In our current digital era, a lot of our customers are adopting cloud technology as part of their core IT strategy, and we see these relationships as an essential part of how we go to market."
In February this year, CSG recognised Microsoft as their 2020 Strategic Partner of the Year, awarding the company for its go-to-market partnering efforts together with CSG to launch solutions, drive market awareness, and support engagement with CSG customers worldwide.
Before approaching a customer with a solution, CSG conducts comprehensive pre-work with their partner vendors to ensure they are compatible, meet necessary standards, and can add value. The company has enjoyed tremendous success through these win-win partnerships.
At the heart of these winning partnerships and customer relationships is a culture of openness—even if it means offering a different viewpoint. “If we think there is a better way of solving a problem, we are absolutely open with our customers,” James says. “It may be easier to offer exactly what the customer wants, but that might result in wasted time and resources. Building a transparent, communicative relationship with customers sets us apart.”
Last year was CSG’s best yet in EMEA, and James anticipates that trend continuing. “We have a robust roadmap moving forward, and we are fortunate to be in a cashflow positive situation. There is tremendous potential for us to make acquisitions that will complement our existing offerings,” he explains.
CSG’s investments in digital transformation have paid off, and their cloud-first approach positions them well moving forward. “We are having truly exciting conversations with clients about what the future holds, and we expect this to involve further growth over the next few years.”